This morning the Chamblee High School principal sent an email alert to parents that there would be greater police presence at the school because of an unspecified threat.

Unspecified threat today at Chamblee schools. Uneasy parents at home.

How parents cope when kids have more lockdowns than school dances

This morning principals at Chamblee High School and Chamblee Middle School sent email alerts to parents that police were investigating an unspecified threat made against the DeKalb County schools. 

The alert to high school parents arrived this morning at 7:12 and said:  

The safety and security of our students is paramount in the Dekalb County School District and at Chamblee Charter High School. There is a threat against the school that is currently being investigated by the DCSD School Police.

Parent Randy Faigin David, the mother of four kids who all attend or graduated from DeKalb County schools including one now at Chamblee, shares her reaction to this alert.

At 10:05 a.m., an email update informed parents:  “The individual who made the threat is currently detained” but police will maintain their presence.

In a statment, DeKalb Schools said: 

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 17 at approximately 1 a.m., DCSD Public Safety was routed a call that said there was a potential threat posted on social media involving Chamblee Middle and Chamblee High. The Dept. of Public Safety generated a report, dispatched a detective, and began an investigation. As of this morning, a suspect has been detained. As a precaution, extra police are also present at both schools. Parents and community members at both schools have been informed of this incident.

I need to note the DeKalb threats occurred in the backdrop of a frightening situation underway right now in Denver where an 18-year-old Miami woman obsessed with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting flew into the city Monday and immediately bought a pump action shotgun and ammunition, according to the FBI. 

The FBI told reporters the woman, Sol Pais, was armed and dangerous and had “made some concerning comments in the past" and had an "infatuation" with the deadly attack at Columbine, which occurred 20 years ago this Saturday and took the lives of 12 students and one teacher. 

As a result of the threat Pais posed, more than a dozen school districts in Colorado closed today. (Authorities announced this afternoon that she was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.)

With that, here is the response of the DeKalb parent to the threat to her child’s school today.

By Randy Faigin David

Everyone had just left for school as I turned to my computer. At the top of my emails was the notification from the high school “There has been a threat. We are investigating. There will be extra police on campus.” 

Just another morning in April in America. 

I texted my daughter to make sure she knew about it (the kids always know first). I felt like I needed to give my 16-year-old something else besides the warning, so I offered to pick her up if she felt scared. 

While I was watching the “…” of her reply forming, I thought about what I was really trying to communicate with her. We both know she is not going to call me to leave work in the middle of the day to take her out of school during the last few weeks before exams just because she feels uneasy. And we both know that if there is a real emergency, I won’t be able to get to her. 

So, what was I really hoping to accomplish by reaching out to her? 

Yes, I was trying to provide the security of a loving parent. But deep down, we both know that this is out of my control. I thought about telling her that God would protect her, but God was protecting the Parkland kids, too. 

So why text? To make sure I’ve said “I love you” one last time, just in case? I had just said that as she walked out the door.

I think I texted her because I wanted her to make me feel better. And she did. She said, “I know the kid who posted the threat on snapchat, and he doesn’t seem like the type who would actually shoot up a school.” 

Words of comfort by a high school student who has been through more lockdowns than school dances. She assessed the threat and determined that the risk did not outweigh the importance of attending school. I pray to God she is right. 

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About the Author

Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.
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